India, March 30 -- China on Tuesday approved sweeping changes to Hong Kong's electoral system, tightening Beijing's control over the city and cutting down democratic representation in the financial hub.

Chinese President Xi Jinping signed presidential orders to formalise the Hong Kong electoral reform plan on Tuesday.

"The goal of the overhaul is to make sure that the bodies of power in Hong Kong are run by patriots," state media reported, adding that it was another major step in tackling the "loopholes in the city's governance structure".

The changes to the electoral system essentially mean lawmakers standing for elections in Hong Kong have to be vetted for their loyalty to the mainland, thereby ensuring that only "patriotic" candidat...